Elijah of Buxton

by Christopher Paul Curtis
  • Item #19V2 in Voices Voices
    • Grades: 4 - 7
    • Ages: 10 - 13
    Awards:
    Coretta Scott King Author Award ; Newbery Honor
    • Format: Paperback Book
      Paperback Book
Short Summary
Mixing easy humor and hard truths, this riveting tale follows a boy as he takes a dangerous journey to right a wrong—and awakens to the terrible realities of slavery.

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Eleven-year-old Elijah was the first child born free in Buxton Settlement, a Canadian town founded by former slaves. He's a curious and sweet-natured kid who's lived the protected life of the freeborn—a life of fishing, stone chucking, and harmless pranks, far away from the unimaginable hardships that others in the settlement have endured. To them, Elijah has never been toughened up by tragedy—and he does have a tendency to be easily frightened, jumping at tall tales about snakes and running away at the slightest sign of danger.

But he will have to put his fears aside when a fast-talking con artist makes off with the money that Elijah's friend had been saving to buy his family's freedom. To help his friend track down the thief, Elijah must abandon the safety of Buxton and cross the border into the United States—a country where slavery is still legal. During his travels he'll seek the help of gamblers, outwit vicious dogs, and come face to face with the horrors of slavery for the first time—while learning about the enormous sacrifices it took to make him free.

Told in a spirited narrative voice, this complex and realistic work of historical fiction is inspired by the real Canadian town of Elgin and offers a fresh perspective on the turbulent time before the Civil War.
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Product Details

    • Grades: 4 - 7
    • Ages: 10 - 13
  • Product Type: Book
  • Page Count: 368 pages
  • Dimensions: 5 1/4" x 7 5/8"
  • Language: English
  • ISBN 13: 978-0-439-02345-0